Time to Tame the Colts
Fresh off their gritty overtime road win in Houston, the Seattle Seahawks travel north to visit the Texans divisional rival Indianapolis Colts.
How’s that for a set of road opponents, two weeks straight?
With the Seahawks having all the momentum in the world right now and a 4-0 record, I’m convinced it’s going to take more than a once in a generation quarterback prospect and a revamped running game to knock Seattle off their high horse, but hey, maybe I’m a homer.
That being said, the Colts are not to be taken lightly.
They may not be undefeated, having a solid 3-1 record, but even more alarmingly they are very close to the Seahawks in almost every base stat and in some cases better.
The Colts are also considerably healthier than the Seahawks, with only Ricky Jean-Francois being listed as out for tomorrow’s tilt.
Of the media narratives sure to follow this game, none will take precedence over both team’s starting quarterbacks being products of the 2012 draft.
With RG3 having fallen off a bit in his second season, it’s now a battle between these two for the distinction of best pick, and don’t think they aren’t aware of this.
Conventional wisdom says Andrew Luck is the better of the two, but boy oh boy, would a win by Russell Wilson tomorrow ever make it a more heated debate.
Here’s a look at the three match-ups sure to swing the pendulum in either quarterbacks favor,
The Seahawks vs. The First Half
As great as this 4-0 season has been to the Seahawks and their fan base, it hasn’t all been sunshine, rainbows and puppies. When looking at their first quarters to this point, I would actually have to say it’s been anything but. Save for their week 3 performance against the Jaguars, Seattle has been nothing short of awful in the first half.
Whether the fact that the Seahawks are still winning games in spite of this is indicative of their character and team toughness or an impending sign of doom, I simply can’t say. Maybe it’s both? Whatever the case, I think I speak for everyone when I say it needs to be addressed.
To this point in the season, the Seahawks are only outscoring their opponents 35-27. Far from alarming, but in comparison to the 74 points they’ve accrued in the second half of games this season (while only giving up 20), it looks kind of crummy.
The Offensive Line vs. Robert Mathis
Having been overshadowed by a future hall of famer, and former teammate in Dwight Freeney, Mathis never really got the respect he was due.
With Mathis having already tallied 7.5 sacks this season – and being just one short of 100 – maybe it’s time he got a little attention?
With the Seahawks short both of their starting offensive tackles, maybe it’s best they pay him a lot of attention. Help from the tight ends, fullback or running back will surely be needed to keep him in check, which really is a best case scenario for Seattle.
Seattle has Michael Bowie, a seventh-round pick from this year’s draft, playing at right tackle, which is generally the side that Mathis would rush from. That being said, the Seahawks have Paul McQuistan who has just looked horrible (currently graded -10.6 on ProFootballFocus.com) at left tackle, so I’d have to imagine they’ll try to exploit that.
Walter Thurmond III vs. Reggie Wayne
When Bruce Arians came to Indianapolis as the offensive coordinator last season, he brought with him an unconventional approach to maximizing the effectiveness of Reggie Wayne: trying him out in the slot. It paid dividends for the Colts and their veteran receiver as he posted nearly 1,400 yards last season.
New offensive coordinator, same approach. So far this season, Wayne is running roughly 68% of his routes from the slot and running them just as effectively as last season.
With Wayne lining up mostly in the slot, it will be Walter Thurmond who is tasked with keeping him in check. All summer we were privy to Thurmond hype, and some even went so far to suggest that if healthy he could be as good a shutdown corner as Richard Sherman.
He’ll get no better chance to prove his fans right than tomorrow.